FALL 2002 COURSE GUIDE
ART HISTORY 125g
Arts of Asia: Antiquity to 1300
TTh, 12:30 - 1:50
Please contact the department for course description.
This course is designed to look at both universal social organizational themes and their culture-specific variations. We do so by reading and discussing the ethnographies (holistic descriptions of a particular society's cultural tenets and folk ways) of five non-western societies. Having gained an overview of each society in the first third of the course, the next two-thirds of the semester is devoted to cross-cultural comparisons of eight of the societies' shared principles of organization (kinship and family, belief, political, law, and economic systems as well as their understandings of medicine and health, time and them selves as evolving social entities across time, space and intercultural contact.) In the past, Dr. Weibel-Orlando has lectured about the Trobriand Islanders of the Western Pacific, the Yanomano of So. Venezuela, the Cheyennes of Colorado, the Nuer of the So. Sudan, and a Hindi agrarian village in No. India.
The main objective of this course is to provide students with an idea of the case study method in anthropology through intensive viewing of films and photographs about non-Western people whose culture is also well-represented in ethnographic texts. We will focus on three cultures: the !Kung San or Ju/'hoansi (Bushmen) of Southern Africa, the Yanomamö Indians of Venezuela, and the Tiv of Nigeria. Up until very recent times, all of these cultures lacked the political institutions characteristic of the state or empires and thus provide examples of peoples for whom power and authority are largely imbedded within the categories of family, friend or foe. Up until the 1980s, some Ju/'hoansi lived in small, localized bands supported by a primarily hunting and gathering ecology. The Yanomamö represent a 'big-man" type of social system and they still retains some autonomy because of their remote location; they are ecologically dependent upon slash-and-burn agriculture and some hunting. The Tiv are market-oriented hoe agriculturalists whose traditional segmentary lineage system was capable of mobilizing thousands of people in feuds, wars and judicial proceedings. The Tiv and the Yanomamö are examples the kind of peoples usually called 'tribal', even though their scale of social integration differs greatly. All of these peoples have been studied extensively by anthropologists and each has also been the subject of a series of ethnographic films or photographic essays. The Kung San by John Marshall; the Yanomamo by Timothy Asch and Napoleon Chagnon; the Tiv by Paul Bohannan. Recently Peter Biella and Gary Seaman collaborated with Chagnon to produce a computer interactive study on the Yanomamo entitled The Ax Fight. A similar project is underway for the Tiv. We therefore possess detailed written and filmed ethnographies of these three peoples as well as interactive media resources. It is these films and texts and interactive media that will allow us to form some sense of what it is like to live and act in a Ju/'hoansi or Yanomamo or Tiv mode.
A second important course objective is to learn to relate written materials to the audiovisual information contained in filmic and visual media. To accomplish this, the student is required to maintain a structured 'film journal' to transfer information from visual to textual format. A model form to organize the journal will be provided. These journals will be done in the discussion sections at the end of every class period.
Note: For another ANTH 263g section, see the next two entries.
This course will introduce the student to the subject matter and theories of social anthropology through the extensive use of visual media, especially through film. Topics will cover a spectrum of issues, including: marriage and the family; economics; ritual and religion; conflict and conflict resolution; and culture change, among others. The approach will be broadly comparative. Traditions covered in the course will include those of Africa, Latin America, and the Balkaus, among others.
Readings and Assignments:
Please contact the Anthropology department for course description.
EAST ASIAN LANGUAGES AND CULTURES 110g
This course introduces the fundamental humanistic traditions of China, Japan, and Korea through representative works of traditional literature, esthetics, social philosophy, religion, and historical writing. The readings are mostly from primary sources as translated into English. No previous knowledge of an East Asian culture or language is expected.
Readings and Assignments:
Note: The readings and assignments may be subject to change. Please contact the department for verification.
EAST ASIAN LANGUAGES AND CULTURES 342g
The objective of this course is to explore fundamental patterns in the culture and civilization of Japan through an examination of key literary, historical, religious, and philosophical texts from the ancient through modern periods. Particular attention will be paid to the way in which issues of gender, power, and class have shaped the production of Japanese literature. Since standard narratives of Japan's cultural past have been heavily influenced by Japan's emergence as a modern nation state, attention will also be paid to how the cultural dialogue and conflict between Japan and the West that accompanied modernization have shaped both Japanese and western views of Japan's evolution as a civilization. Issues discussed in this course will include the role of myth, story-telling, and historical narrative; conceptions of authority as reflected in evolving notions of imperial, sacred, and secular power; the role of ritual, performance and sociality in Japanese literary and art forms, with specific comparisons to western theatrical and novelistic traditions; the centrality of aesthetics in Japanese self-identity; concepts of self, gender, and otherness, with comparisons to western notions of individuality and subject. The course may also include screenings of several films that require attendance outside normal class time.
EAST ASIAN LANGUAGES AND CULTURES 350g
This course presents basic features and highlights of Chinese civilization from neolithic times down to the present day. It explores both the development and the continuities of this great civilization, including aspects of philosophy, religion, politics, gender, literature, and art. We will also look at some areas of Chinese culture as it is encountered here in Los Angeles. No prior knowledge of China is required.
Course Requirements & Grading
EAST ASIAN LANGUAGES AND CULTURES 352g
This course will introduce traditional Chinese literature through representative works of history, philosophy, poetry, fiction, and drama, as translated into English. No previous knowledge of Chinese culture or language is assumed.
EAST ASIAN AREA STUDIES 150g
The following course description belongs to Professor Cooper. Please contact the East Asian Area Studies Department for Professor Rosen's course description.
This course is designed to provide an introduction to the societies and cultures of contemporary East Asia. Required readings are ethnographic studies of agricultural and industrial communities in China, Japan, and Korea. Lectures will provide historical and political background to each country. Readings will serve as a basis for discussion of cultural and economic themes and issues in the recent history of each country.
This class introduces students to some key themes in the history of China from the origins of the civilization down to our own day. The emphasis is not on volume of material read or facts mastered, but on reading, thinking, and writing. Wills, Mountain of Fame provides some continuity of exposition and introduction to some key themes and problems through the study of a series of famous and infamous lives of individuals in Chinese history. Ebrey, Chinese Civilization gives you a sense of the variety of Chinese experience and the challenges of trying to make sense of sources in translation. Very short writing exercises are required regularly, to give you practice in the kinds of writing and thinking we want you to work on in this course, and to push you to keep up with the readings.
This course has two essential purposes. The first is to acquaint you with a survey of Japanese history. Our purpose will not be to memorize names, dates and places, but rather to see how a civilization quite different from those of the West evolved, developed, and met human needs. We may thereby learn quite a bit not only about Japan, but about our own cultural traditions. At a time when comparisons between contemporary Japan and America appear daily in the mass media, seeing the patterns of Japanese history may help us understand the patterns of contemporary Japan, and evaluate those comparisons with a more educated eye.
The second purpose is to explore what "history" means as an intellectual discipline, and how materials from other branches of knowledge, such as archaeology, economics, fine arts, literature and political science may be deployed to enrich our understanding of the past. The major cultural traditions explored are Japan's agrarian-village tradition, warrior (samurai) tradition, aristocratic/bureaucratic (court nobility) tradition, and the patterns of embracing or rejecting traditions encountered from foreign sources.
Note: The readings and assignments list may be subject to change. Please contact the department for verification.
The main goal of this class is to equip students with the basic empirical information and analytical approaches that will enable them to understand the dynamics of religion, culture and politics in shaping one of the world's major civilizations. Hence, guided by a comparative perspective, this class focuses on the study of those societies of the former Soviet Union whose identities and cultures were shaped by Islam but also by their encounter with the colonial "other", be it in Tsarist or Soviet form. Given its focus on an area outside the "core" Middle Eastern countries, this course also contributes to a better understanding of the cultural diversity of the "Muslim World" against the background of its unity of faith while also identifying the remarkable diversity of "Russian Islam" forged as it was, by the interaction of the settled and nomadic; urban and rural; Muslim and non-Muslim societies.
This course description belongs to Professor Slingerland.
The purpose of this course is to trace the development of religious thought in India, China and Japan, from earliest times until the present, paying attention to certain recurrent themes or motifs while also taking note of some profound discontinuities, especially as we move from India to East Asia. Although the importance of popular and elite practice as both a complement to and source of innovation in religious thought will be noted, as will the influence exerted by socio-economic and other "non-religious" forces? The primary focus of this course will be trends in religious/philosophical thought, as well as the relevance of these trends for contemporary Western thought.
* Failure to attend discussion section will be taken very seriously. One unexcused absence will be tolerated, but further unexcused absences will effect the "section participation" portion of the student's grade (not the overall grade) as follows:
** Field trips to local religious communities (times and places TBA) will also be arranged; attendance will be optional and for extra credit.
Note: For the most recent course information, see the instructor's website.
Please contact the department for course description.
SLAVIC LANGUAGES AND CULTURES 330g
Speaking about Russian culture, people tend to forget about its social, economical and psychological foundations, - in other words, about Russian civilization. This unilateral approach is mostly due to the traditionally acclaimed preference of "spiritual" values over the "material" ones in Russian consciousness. Even if it is true, civilization in Russia never ceased its influence on literature, art and philosophy. In particular, the unique combination of local democracy, tracing back to Middle Ages (Novgorod), and state totalitarianism, having reached its peak in the Soviet time (Stalin), diverted Russian creative forces from politics; instead, Russian writers and painters explored Russian society on the small scale, creating a highly original version of nineteenth-century European realism. On the other hand, the interaction of agriculture, traditionally dominant in Russia, with westernized city culture, resulted in the phenomenon of twentieth-century Russian communism, the combination of folk beliefs and modern philosophy